ACTIVITY 4: Handout 1

The Situation in Boldovistan Today

Boldovistan Today

You are living in the newly democratic nation of Boldovistan. After decades of totalitarian government, the country seeks to join the community of European democracies. In general, the European democracies have more tolerant laws towards homosexuality than Boldovistan, and they are reluctant to consider closer economic, political, and cultural ties with Boldovistan until it decriminalizes homosexuality.

The government has appointed committees to review existing legislation. One of the most controversial laws under review is Section 28 of the Penal Code, which condemns people of majority age found guilty of consensual homosexual acts to five years’ imprisonment. Section 28 has been used for many years against adults having consensual same-sex relationships. Often the testimony of one person is enough to convict. In some cases, Section 28 was used to arrest and discredit people who were not gay or lesbian. Section 28 has been used within the last year to arrest several persons who are currently awaiting trial.

A parliamentary committee has requested testimony from various persons to determine if Section 28 should be changed, and if so, what the consequences might be. The committee of six politicians, including center, left, and right parties, will listen to representatives of: